October 28th, 2013: Planet of the Apes (1968)

Planet of the Apes

Cast and Crew: Franklin J. Schaffner (Director); Rod Serling (Screenplay); Pierre Boulle (Novel); Jerry Goldsmith (Score); Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, James Whitmore

What It’s About: A team of astronauts travel to a distant planet and find an upside down world where apes are the dominate species and man is a mute savage hunted nearly to extinction.  Can George Taylor (Charlton Heston) find the secret of the Planet of the Apes?

Why Watch it Today?: Planet of the Apes most iconic image features The Statue of Liberty, dedicated on this date in 1886.

6 comments on “October 28th, 2013: Planet of the Apes (1968)

  1. geelw says:

    This was the very first film I ever saw in a theater. 1968, my mom too me and my brother and sister. Jerry Goldsmith’s main theme scared the hell out of me back then and some of the other bits stuck in my head so much that it got me into collecting soundtracks in my teens (this being one of the first I got)…

    • T.A. Gerolami says:

      That’s quite an introduction to cinema! I honestly am not sure what my first movie is, but I think it was Star Wars sometime before Empire came out. I was very young, but I remember my uncle showing up at our house and saying that it was playing again and taking my mom and I to see it.

      My earliest memories of anything Apes was either the TV show or the cartoon in reruns sometime in the early 80s. Then when I was something like 5 I watched Escape From the Planet of the Apes at my uncle’s house. Some how I ended up seeing Conquest and Battle for before I saw the original, which I probably rented or borrowed from the library. I remember even then being impressed by how different it was in vibe from all of the sequels (which are fun, but definitely not in the same league).

      That Goldsmith score is amazing, I can see why it got into your head.

      • geelw says:

        Amusingly enough, my mom and I went to see that Tim Burton remake when it came out and both of us hated it. Well, I didn’t hate it and much as she did, as I’ve watched it a bunch of times since just for the few parts that worked and some of the great makeup. It certainly doesn’t “feel” like a Burton flick, that’s for sure. and yeah, I watched that CBS TV series, the cartoon (which was goofy) and all the films. The first is definitely the best of them, but I really like the uncut version of Conquest because it’s so over the top with the violence and that ending was pretty downbeat (especially for the humans getting beat down, ha ha)…

      • T.A. Gerolami says:

        I didn’t even know they had an uncut version of Conquest. We saw that remake, my siblings and I. When we left the theater one of us said “I would have left but I didn’t want to make you guys feel like you had to go too.”which was how all three of us felt.

      • geelw says:

        Yeah, after seeing that remake/reboot one final time about two years ago, i had to put it on my drop list. The last Apes flick was interesting, but you had to stick around for the end credits and know the first movie well to get the true impact. That and pay attention to the newspaper and I think one newscast in the movie.

        As for Conquest, it’s worth tracking down for J.Lee Thompson basically saying “I’m not makin’ no kiddie movie!” and going for the gusto with cuts of apes being shot point blank in the face (I think about three or four times), bloody bodies in the streets, a different opening, battle sequences with a more violence and a different (and bleaker) ending. It’s not longer than the theatrical version and this version sort of makes Battle of the Planet of the Apes look weaker (well, it’s pretty weak to begin with)…

      • T.A. Gerolami says:

        The biggest thing Battle of the Planet of the Apes has going for it is the fact that Paul Williams, of all people, is in it as an Orangutang. Pretty hard to make it any weaker!

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